Old Ghost Road and Heaphy Track – Tom Clayton

Old Ghost Road & Heaphy Track
Words and photos by Tom Clayton

I said to my friend Jesse one day I’d love to do a weeks riding in either New Zealand or Tasmania. Straight away he rolled off a heap of trails he’s got pilling up, as he’s got an encyclopedic brain for good riding and always keen to head out. After no persuasion at all there was myself, Jesse, Teef and Joan at the airport in Melbourne boarding the red-eye for Nelson, South Island New Zealand.

The route we’d planned was a seven day, 600km loop around the Kahuranghi National park—taking in The Old Ghost Road at the south and The Heaphy Track at the North. Fuelled mainly by fish and chips, stout beers and more single track than you could shake a stick at, we saw the best of nature, the friendliest people and an amazing network of eco-tourism.

I’d also get the daily distance wrong by at least an hour, Joan would look handsome in every photograph and we’d get rained on for the last 10km. And probably more fish and chips. A big thank you to The Cycle Shop in Nelson for graciously looking after our stuff while we pedalled around, Curve Cycling for making very fun bikes and our friends at Rapha Australia.

See our route at Ride With GPS.


Follow Tom on Instagram, Follow Jesse on Instagram, Follow Sarah on Instagram, and follow Joan on Instagram.

  • dean Taylor

    Looks great! You mean fush and chups, I imagine :^)

  • Superpilot

    Light on words, heavy on radness

    • I’m free for a yarn if you want

      • Superpilot

        Not a criticism :)

  • Where’s Kevin?

  • Daniel Pastrana

    Lets see more pictures of that Willits…I have one with orange panels too!!


  • macatarere

    Tom, thanks for the write up, almost my back yard. RWGPS route was on my Elemnt within minutes.

  • Kevin Neidorf

    Goddamnit! I was here in February and a fucking cyclone hit/ I spent extra days hunkered down at a Warmshowers host in Westport/ had to peace out before stuff got too crazy & had to sort out the rest of the trip. Everyone was like “aw, shame, literally the best track in NZL”. Guess it’s an excuse to go back

  • M.R.

    Enjoyed that. Thanks.

  • Ian TheMusette Walton

    Joan’s come a long way since leaving BCN…Rapha H Van barrista, billboard model, now adventure model on the Rad…que mas tío…? ;-)
    Looks like a wicked trip, pleasure to view it.
    (and if Curve wheels – G4 rim on the road bike thanks to Giro cycles over in Londres ;-) – are anything to go by, the bikes must be bloody magic)